The Open Space Institute Announces ‘Responsible Recreation’ Guidelines for River-to-Ridge

Image Credit: Steve Aaron

NEW PALTZ, NY (April 15, 2020) — As concern about the coronavirus crisis continues to impact Ulster County, the state of New York, and beyond, the Open Space Institute (OSI) issued “responsible recreation” guidelines and reminders for sustainable and healthy use of the River-to-Ridge Trail.

“For the local New Paltz community and countless others across the country, these trying times are underscoring the innate importance of nature and the outdoors as an invaluable resource for refuge and for mental and physical wellbeing,” said Kim Elliman, OSI’s president and CEO. “While it is gratifying that people are finding refuge in the trail, OSI urges people to adhere to public health guidelines in the face of the coronavirus.”

As visitors arrive at the trail, for the health and safety of everyone, OSI requests that the public to adhere to the following guidelines:

  • If the trail is busy or if the designated parking area is full, please come back at another time or day.
  • Do not use the trail if you or someone in your family are exhibiting symptoms.
  • Observe the CDC’s minimum-recommended, 6-foot social distance from others.
  • Avoid gatherings of people at trail kiosks, gates, and parking area.
  • Wash/sanitize your hands after contact with any high-touch surfaces.

Additionally, visitors to the trail should park only at the River-to-Ridge Trailhead, located at 41 Springtown Road in New Paltz. Please note that parking area capacity is limited to 45 vehicles and, until further notice, horse trailers are prohibited.

Local leaders and residents expressed appreciation for the trail, and for the public’s use of it. “Always an amazing public amenity, the River-to-Ridge Trail has proven to be even more of an irreplaceable resource during the pandemic," said Tim Rogers, mayor of the Village of New Paltz. "I am also impressed with the community displays of responsibility and courtesy when I see how people are observing social distancing on the trail."

For additional updates and information about the River-to-Ridge Trail, visit:

Created in partnership with Mohonk Preserve, and with funding from the Butler Conservation Fund, the River-to-Ridge Trail traverses 400 acres of the River-to-Ridge Preserve, and connects people to one of OSI’s most successful conservation landscapes — the Shawangunk Ridge.

Over the past 40 years, OSI has protected nearly 33,000 acres on and along the Ridge, and now sets its sights on further connecting people to land it has protected and improved — from restoring over 12 miles of Victorian carriage roads, to the creation of a new Visitor Center at Minnewaska State Park Preserve.

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